2015 International Meetings and Programs Schedule


Thank you for joining us at the ALA 2015 Annual Conference!

The ALA Annual Conference offers you an unparalleled opportunity to enhance your knowledge, share your ideas, and network with experts from around the globe as you participate in one of the largest and most exciting library events in the world! Around 2,200 scheduled events of which more than 500 are programs, discussions, sessions, and in-depth facilitated and informal conversations, and 900+ exhibitors.


Below is a list of meetings and events for the International Relations Committee (IRC), the International Relations Round Table (IRRT), and other ALA Offices hosting programs with an international focus.




Please click on the title of each meeting/program to view the latest information and list of speakers.



8:00 am- 1:00 pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center - 122 (N)
Description: The library profession is constantly adjusting to new technical developments, standards and innovative new services.  These changes may occur without additional funding, or in an environment where the relevance of library services may not be widely known, or may be questioned as larger institutions face rethinking of structures.  Libraries need to be leaders in their communities in order to ensure they are full participants in the future of those communities. Learn how librarians from around the world are addressing how to lead and how to nurture leadership of both individuals and libraries. 
Speakers: TBA
Cost: $90 USD
Registration includes: Materials, refreshments and lunch.
Event code: IRR2

International Relations Committee I
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Location: Marriott Marquis San Francisco – Yerba Buena Salon 4

International Librarians Orientation
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Marriott Marquis San Francisco – Golden Gate A

Description: An overview of ALA, the conference, exhibits, and the city of San Francisco, including recommended programs and social activities, plus the chance to meet colleagues who will help you get the most of your conference experience as an international attendee.



IRC*/IRRT+ All Subcommittee Meeting
8:30 am- 11:30 am
Location: Westin St. Francis Hotel – Tower Salon A&B

+8:30 - 9:00 am      IRRT Chairs Meeting
+9:00 - 10:30 am    IRRT Subcommittee Meetings
+10:00 - 11:30 am  IRRT Chairs report back to IRRT Executive Board

*8:30 – 11:30am    IRC Committee Meetings


IFLA Columbus 2016
10:30 am - 11:30 am
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 3006 (W)

Learning from One Another: Mentoring Across and Within Borders-IRRT Paper Session
(Program tentatively scheduled to be recorded)
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 2010 (W)

Description: Mentoring is an effective way of assisting people to progress in their careers through a partnership between two people, an experienced mentor and a less experienced mentee.  Formal mentoring programs exist in librarianship as in other professions and may be found within libraries, library associations, or other professional settings. This program will feature presentations on mentoring projects and programs from around the world.


Developing and Strengthening Library Collections with Culturally Relevant African Materials
(Program tentatively scheduled to be recorded)
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 3020 (W)

Description: As libraries and information networks grow across Africa, and more Africans make their home in North America, librarians on both continents are challenged to respond to local needs and provide culturally relevant materials to their patrons. Librarians and information professionals in many African countries, sometimes partnering with American colleagues, are finding innovative ways to ensure that libraries serve ALL the people in their target populations. Presenters will discuss projects, services, research studies, culturally relevant materials including local languages, preservation and dissemination of indigenous knowledge, and locally relevant digital projects.  Come, to hear creative ideas and meet potential partners.

Libraries Creating Positive Change: Championing Access to Information Globally-IRC Chair's Program
(Program tentatively scheduled to be recorded)
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 3012 (W)

Description: Deborah Jacobs, Director of Global Libraries at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Tina Sciabica, Executive Director of READ Global will share experiences and practices from the global library field fostering positive change, sustainable libraries and development. The program includes best practices, models and recommendations. The purpose of the program is to motivate librarians and show them the many positive things happening around the globe. We need more positive examples to show that library workers, librarians and those providing access to information can bring positive change to their communities!


Access to Government Information: the Case of US and China
(Program tentatively scheduled to be recorded)
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 2000 (W)

Description: In the US and China, a wide-range of sources are available to access government information. The sources in the US range from local to Federal government. Users can access government information either by using federal depository libraries or through Internet connection. In China, users can access government information through government gazettes, government websites and press conferences, or state archives and public libraries, as well as through newspapers, television and other methods. This presentations will explore how users are able to access government information in the US and China, will look at the history of the development of government information in the two countries, sources that could be used to access government information, and discuss the policies governing them. It will further explore where the differences and similarities are in accessing government information in the US and China.


IRRT Executive Board Meeting
8:30 am – 11:30am
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 222 (S)

An Opportunity to Serve: American Librarians in Eurasia
(Program tentatively scheduled to be recorded)
10:30 am - 11:30 am
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 2004 (W)

Description: An Opportunity to Serve: American Librarians in Eurasia will provide a glimpse into the experiences of three American-based librarians who have worked or are working in institutions in Afghanistan, Georgia and Kazakhstan.   Each speaker will talk about the rewards and challenges of working in Central Asian and Eurasian libraries.

International Poster Session
10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Exhibit floor - View list of poster session (opens in PDF file, scroll to page 43)

Description: Come to the Exhibit floor and find out about innovative programs and transformative ideas that are shaping libraries all over the world.


Leaning International: Recipes from the Field
(Program tentatively scheduled to be recorded)
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center - 3001 (W)

Description: For MLS students through seasoned information professionals interested in working internationally, this annual program hosted by IRRT’s International Connections Committee features American librarians discussing their own unique international experiences.  Discussions are split between prepared topics and audience Q&A time.  These interactive sessions have included such diverse topics as leveraging networks to find work abroad, pre-departure language and etiquette training, adapting to regional librarianship as well as cultural standards, the practicalities of life overseas, and more! This annual program hosted by IRRT’s International Connections Committee features American librarians speaking about their own unique international experiences. 


Current Practices and Trends in East/Southeast/Pacific (E/SE/P) Asian Libraries
(Program tentatively scheduled to be recorded)
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 3001 (W)

Description: Come hear a panel of various U.S. librarians—who have experience with E/SE/P Asian libraries—discuss  some of the current practices and trends in that region of the world.  Panelists will include those who have lived/worked in E/SE/P Asia, as well as those in the U.S. who work collaboratively with E/SE/P Asian libraries.   A variety of aspects will be discussed, from technical services (digital preservation projects, E/SE/P Asian language cataloging issues) to public services (reference & Information Literacy instruction efforts there), to practices and trends (library construction, national library associations, library legislation, etc.)  While not every country of the region will be covered, this program will provide a variety of representation, with Q&A time provided at the end.


Strategic Collaborations: Sister Libraries in Sister Cities
(Program tentatively scheduled to be recorded)
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 2009 (W)

Description: In 2013, Nancy Bolt and Janet Lee formed the International Library and Cultural exchange Interest Group (ILCE-IG) of the Colorado Association of Libraries. The forming of this organization was an outgrowth of partnerships with libraries in Colorado and Bulgaria, and with the Axum, Ethiopian Committee of the Denver Sister Cities International. Their work was expanded to include Aurora, CO Sister Cities International. In this presentation, Nancy and Janet will highlight the successes and challenges of dovetailing Sister Libraries with existing Sister Cities partnerships as they share a grass roots perspective from the local level. Additionally, Carol Brey, past ALA President who works as an IRO for the State Department, will report on the ALA Past-Presidents group promoting international issues through a top-down connection with the Sister Cities National Organization.



Building Sustainable Libraries in Asia: Success Stories-ISLD-Interest Group Program
(Program tentatively scheduled to be recorded)
8:30 am - 10:00 am
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 2009 (W)

Description: This will be an interactive program with speakers and audience participation and will highlight factors that contributed to the success of library development projects in Asia.


Culture under siege and our response: scholars and librarians in action
(Program tentatively scheduled to be recorded)
10:30 am - 11:30 am
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 2006 (W)

Description: The Near East and South Asia Subcommittee of ALA’s International Relations Committee invites you to a roundtable discussion about the role librarians can play in preserving and protecting the cultural heritage that is being threatened in several countries in our region.  During the last few years, libraries and collections have been destroyed in Timbuktu, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Iraq and other countries in the region. We invite all interested scholars and librarians who wish to participate in the discussion on what steps and risk management strategies can be taken to protect manuscript and book collections from further destruction.


IRRT Chair’s Program: Library Leadership Initiatives - Stories from a Global Perspective
(Program tentatively scheduled to be recorded)
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 3003 (W)

Description: We all need to continually evolve as professionals but due to time and budget constraints, it isn’t always possible or easy. These constraints are especially true for our colleagues in developing countries. How do individuals, country associations, or international library organizations present, plan, and train for library leadership roles and/or succession planning? How do international conferences promote individual leadership skills? How can these help you to be a better leader and professional?

These questions and more will be addressed during the IRRT Chair’s Program as we hear leadership stories and solutions from a global perspective. The panel will present Inspiring Leaders around the World: Learning New Skills through a Virtual Conference (Sandra Hirsh), Partnering to Promote Leadership at All Levels (Diane VanderPol), Anyone Can Lead:  Shaping Organizational Culture and Building Capacity through Leadership Training (Louise Reimer), and Developing Leadership in International Library and Information Science Students (Naresh Kumar).


The E-Book Landscape in Europe
(Program tentatively scheduled to be recorded)
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 3004 (W)

Description: This session will explore the e-book landscape in several European countries. Using a panel format, discussion will focus on topics such funding models, subscription/ownership models, assessment, acceptance, infrastructure and other areas.


International Relations Committee II
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center – 222 (S)


International Librarians Reception
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street

Description: Please join the International Relations Round Table (IRRT) in welcoming and celebrating with librarians from more than 80 countries at the ALA Annual Conference. Open to all conference attendees, this reception offers a unique opportunity to network with hundreds of information professionals from around the world. Join us for a mixing of culture and ideas, regional cuisine, hors d’oeuvres and open bar. ALA President, Courtney L. Young, will announce the recipients of the ALA Presidential Citation for Innovative International Projects.  Winners of the Bogle Pratt Award and the Humphry/OCLC/Forest Press Award for International Librarianship will be announced. Advance registration is required. International librarians registered for the full conference will receive one complimentary ticket. A ticket must be purchased for additional guests. Tickets will be sold in the convention center. *No tickets will be sold at the reception site.




Listed below are programs, discussion groups, and events with an international focus. Some events require advance registration and payment. Please see conference site for more details.


FRIDAY, June 26, 2015

International Perspectives on Academic and Research Libraries Discussion Group
10:00am to 11:30am

Location: Hilton San Francisco Union Square

Description: The International Perspectives on Academic and Research Libraries Discussion Group will discuss and promote projects and issues of interest and import to academic and research libraries from an international perspective.

SATURDAY, June 27, 2015

Librarians Without Borders: International Outreach
1:00 - 2:30pm
Location: Moscone Convention Center 2024 (W)

Description: Going global! From preservation and conservation work on a collection of presidential papers in Liberia to service-learning opportunities at international school libraries in Ukraine, and from preservation outreach turned equine rescue in Manipur to book repair workshops in Ecuador, this exciting and informative program will highlight librarians’ outreach programs around the world.





+++Exhibit Hours+++

Friday, June 26 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Saturday, June 27 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, June 28 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Monday, June 29 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

(Note: All panels, programs, and events are conducted in English only.)


Moscone Convention Center
747 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94103





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